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Old 02-21-2007, 04:36 PM   #60
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: California
Posts: 4,843
More Darabont:

Lilja: What else are you working on? I read that you where involved in the 4th Indy Indiana Jones… How does it feel to work on something like that and then find out that they aren’t going to use your script?

Frank Darabont: Pretty awful. It was a wasted year or more of my life, and I have only so many years to devote. I worked very closely with Steven Spielberg, applied all my passion and skill, and gave him a script that he loved. He was ready to shoot it that very year -- 2003, I think? Maybe 2004? Well, no matter. The point is, Steven was ecstatic. We both were. It was going to be his next film. He told me it was the best script he'd read since Raiders of the Lost Ark. That's a quote, and I'll always treasure it. As a screenwriter, you dream of making a guy like Steven Spielberg happy and excited. Then George Lucas read it, didn't like it, and threw ice water on the whole thing. The project went down in flames. Steven and I looked like accident victims the day we got that call. I certainly don't blame Steven for it. He wasn't in a position to overrule George, and wouldn't have overruled him even if he could. He and George have been close friends for a long time, and they've had an agreement for years that no Indiana Jones film will ever get made unless they both completely agreed on the script. It was just such an awful surprise, after all my hopes and effort. I really felt I'd nailed it, and so did Steven. Yes, as you can imagine, I would rank that very high on my list of professional disappointments. More than that, it was emotionally devastating. For somebody who, as a young man, was inspired to want to be a filmmaker by Steven and George, by movies like THX-1138 and Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was the ultimate kick in the nuts. In fact, it's the main reason I quit my career as a "writer-for-hire" (writing for other people for a living). It's not the only reason, but certainly a main reason. I swore never to go through that again. From now on, my intention is to write only for myself on projects that I produce or direct. You know, I am trying to turn it into something positive. When life hands you a blow like that, I think you should move on as well as you can, or you risk becoming an embittered ****head. I'd rather do the former and not the latter. The experience did get me to refocus my energies on my directing career, which for me always came second to writing. Now it comes first. So maybe it was a blessing in disguise.
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